When Things Go Awry

jumbled mess

If only good intentions were enough to get us through the day. I had good intentions about my physical and mental health going into National Dance Day this past Saturday. I was having my typical introvert arguments with myself about being around gobs of people, but I got dressed for the gym and went anyway.

The dance room was far too small for the amount of women that showed up so the meet up was on the basketball court downstairs. I went into the day mentally prepared for 20-25 people at maximum. There was closer to 75. It was absolutely a great turn out to support my dance fitness instructor Kyya and the Lupus Foundation. She had her children checking people in and selling raffle tickets and all the while more women kept pouring in.

I am aware that I am an introvert and that me just walking up to strangers to start a conversation is probably never going to happen. I’m the awkward tall girl that stands near people and laughs at the jokes or smiles shyly if someone happens to look my way. Once I get to know a person; however, all bets are off.

This was not a get to know me event. This was a loud-talking-humid-filled room and it was overwhelming. I am not a small person, but I did my best to make myself as small as possible as people walked by.

I was approached for two things in the 20 minutes before the class started. The first was a request for me to move so people could put their bags down on the bench beside me. The other was if I would take pictures of these huge groups of friends that were there together. I quietly apologized and moved out of the way for the purse placers, and I became competent at taking pictures for other people. When they got what they needed from me, I was invisible again.

The force was still strong within me, and I knew I wanted to take the class, do my best, and support a good cause. I cannot tell you how good it feels to be doing things for others. Everyone should consider some sort of charity work.

One thing that I noticed immediately was that all of the advanced people (those that have been taking these classes far longer than me) were up front with the instructor. I am still in the learning process of all of these routines, and I struggled immensely to keep up/keep time with the rest of the group. I wasn’t alone in this struggle, as the whole back half of the room was filled with people not completely confident in what was going on. In hindsight, I probably could have (should have?) approached Kyya at the break and expressed my frustration. Instead… I let it get the better of me.

My will was failing me about an hour and fifteen minutes in. I was exhausted. There was no ventilation on the indoor court, so not only was it sticky and humid, it smelled like armpits and wet socks. It was hard to breathe and I let my guard down for a moment and that is why a panic attack swooped in. It’s one thing to deal with these on my own, but in public… let’s just say it is worse.

I left the moment the class was over. My head was down, I was focusing on trying to breathe. I couldn’t get out fast enough. I didn’t stay for the final door prizes and I did not talk to a single person on the way out. I only live two miles from my gym, but I cried all of the way home.

Once home, I talked to my husband who did an amazing job at making me laugh and focus on positive things. I wasn’t out of the woods yet though. I continued my sobbing in the shower and as my hair was drying.

I cannot remember the last time I felt that weak and defeated. My day had not gone at all according to my plans. My positive outlook on life was gone. I was in the middle of a pity party for one and briefly… I was okay being there.

But that is not really the purpose of this post today. The purpose of this post is to talk about what I learned. I learned that some days (a lot of days really) things are not going to go our way. We are going to be knocked down (a lot). The magic trick (which is no trick at all) is simply picking ourselves up again (easier said than done…but it can be done if you put the work in and it is always worth it).

My husband made an amazing point the other day (he does this a lot, thankfully!) about how it is okay for us to grieve when things don’t go as were hoped. Grieve, learn from any mistakes and to move on. We don’t want to be stuck in that wallowing stage (you know the one, where your friends stop calling as often because all you do is complain about how bad you have it and how the world is out to get you) for long. It is not a productive place to live.

This perspective really helped me focus my attention to other aspects of my life. And something even greater happened that very same day. I finally got up enough courage to start on a writing journey that mixes one of my most favorite television shows (Gilmore girls) and writing. In the coming weeks I will be starting a second blog that focus on GG only titled None Plus Five! I was going to try to do them on the same blog, and as much as I would like to, I just don’t see that happening the way I would like so a new one it is.

I have every intention of keeping up with both. This one will consist of all things that go on in my brain, and None Plus Five will focus on an episodic blog series where I will dissect every episode of Gilmore girls from the Pilot to the final episode of the 4-part revival series: A Year in the Life.

I have my work cut out for me and I couldn’t be more excited to get to work on what I love.

Perfectly Imperfect

perfectly imperfectTomorrow at noon I am participating in my first ever Dance Fitness Master Class. It is led by a woman named Kyya at my local gym and it is in support of the Lupus Foundation. It is a $10 class and it will last 90 minutes. A feat that I have yet to accomplish.

I have been struggling recently. I go back and forth with pure excitement and dread when it comes to this event. I’ve never been a huge people person, and I know this class will be packed. I am not a great dancer, which also leads to worry about screwing up in front of said people. I have been told time and again to not worry about what others think of me, but truth be told, it’s kind of a hard habit to break.

Have you ever walked into a room and you just know that people are judging every little thing about you—especially those things that you are most insecure about? I get that way all of the time. I just know people are making fun of my weight, or noticing that giant (but tiny) pimple on my chin, or that my hair is super fine and it looks like that I am losing my hair.

Sure, there may be some asshats out there that actually do that, but the truth is, that voice that is feeding your insecurities is coming from you. I am the one who is most judging myself because of my size. I am the one that is flooded with worry about people noticing a blemish. I am most insecure about my hair, so I would allow myself to tear myself apart. I would feed my own fear and shame flame.

This destructive pattern has to be broken. The more positive we think about ourselves, the more confident we will be in everything that we do. The truth is, everyone is so consumed with self, that most of the time they don’t have the time or energy on focusing on others and their insecurities.

I have to remind myself of these things on a daily basis. Sometimes more often than that. But the more I encourage myself. The more I tell myself good things. The better I feel and the happier I will live.

Tomorrow, I am going to walk into that Master Class with my head held high. I am going to allow myself to enjoy the dancing. I will forgive myself when I mess up or when I cannot keep up with the rest. I will have a good time and I will feel good about myself. I will walk out of that class a better person not just for doing the work out, not just doing something for charity, but for simply being true to who I am and accepting myself with all of my imperfections. The freedom to be myself without fear or judgment or shame. That’s pretty powerful.

Hello, my name is Kristin and I am perfectly imperfect.

dance

Forging Your Own Path

forging a new pathI have been learning so much over the past year. One thing that I have realized that you will only get out of life what you put into it. If you want a successful career, you need to put the time and dedication into the process to be qualified for bigger and better things. You need to take time out of your “free time” or “personal time” to learn more about the business or the type of career that you want to have. I never thought I would say this, but You Tube is such a great resource if you go in with a specific plan.

As most of you know, lately I have been focusing on two specific aspects of my life. My health and wellness along with becoming disciplined in my writing. The fact that I am here now typing to the online world instead of reading or playing computer games or sleeping should be a testament to that. The reality of the situation is that writing is about 5 percent inspiration and 95 percent blood, sweat, tears, and coffee.

For the longest time I would simply wait to be inspired and then question whether or not writing was something that I truly wanted to pursue because I wasn’t getting inspired as often as I thought I should. I no longer think that way. Do I want to be inspired? Absolutely! What I have come to realized is that the more I work at something, the more personal it becomes to me and I begin to find inspiration in areas where there used to be none.

The biggest thing I can recommend to anyone is to find people that inspire you in the field you are looking to pursue. Find them, learn about them, learn about what they did, and do it for yourself. Constantly put positive encouragement into your brain. It doesn’t matter how it enters either: podcast, You Tube videos of people struggling through the same thing you are, motivational speeches, articles, books on your craft, etc.

The information out there is nearly endless if we are willing to search for it and actively pursue it. The last couple of generations have generally expected things to be handed to them. Don’t get me wrong, opportunities may “fall in your lap” on occasion, but if you want to do anything worth talking about, the stories will be so much sweeter knowing that you fought your way to your dreams.

So what are you waiting for?

The Stupidest Thing I Ever Believed

imagination

Writing Prompt: What’s the stupidest thing you used to believe whole-heartedly?

Originally when I picked up my copy of “642 Things to Write About” by the San Francisco Writers’ Grotto, I thought it was going to be difficult to pick a prompt that I had any interest in. After originally getting this book there was quite a bit of prompts that simply couldn’t hold my curiosity. I believe that it was more a lack of drive and determination and willingness to accept that challenge.

I now absolutely welcome the challenges that I will face in this book. I know that each question could have dozens of answers and I look forward to eventually going back to revisit these prompts to view my growth over the course of the next few years. That being said, let’s get to it.

It didn’t take me long to figure out what the single stupidest thing I used to believe in whole-heartedly. It was something I had believed in as a child. Back then I will full of imagination and wonder and the only thing that held me back was the rules and regulations put in place from my mother. I could only play during certain times, I had to eat what she made me, and a bed time. There were shows I couldn’t watch, and I always felt so restricted. I know now as an adult that she was doing this for my good, but of course as a child, I didn’t see it that way.

I absolutely knew that the moment that I became an adult that all of that would change. I would be able to watch whatever I wanted, eat whatever (and whenever) I wanted, go to sleep whenever I want, and to simply do as I pleased. I knew that once I became an adult that I would finally be free.

Absolutely no one told me how wrong I was. No one told me that I could eat whatever I wanted; however, I had to have money to buy food, then make it, and then to clean up after myself. On top of that, I had to worry about what I put in my body because I learned very quickly how easy it is to get fat.
No one told me that in order to take care of myself as an adult that I would have to work my ass off at a thankless jobs to pay for such freedoms. And even at the end of working full time it would still be a struggle to live the way I believed that I deserved to live.

 

dream-bigOne of the biggest life lessons I have learned though this though is that anything is possible if you truly want it. I highly recommend figuring out what you want and then writing a list of why’s so that when you struggle (because you will struggle and fail repeatedly) you have something to go back to and remind yourself why you’re making these changes for yourself. After you have established some why’s (you can always continue to add to this list or change them at any time. They are not sets of rules), start making goals. Make long term, short term, and daily goals. Figure out exactly how you are going to accomplish your dreams and work at it every single day.

It is very easy to feel alone in this whole process. It is very important to not only have friends that understand what you are doing, but those that will help encourage and support you along the way. These may be friends you have known for your entire life, or family members, or even strangers you meet that have similar goals as you. If there are people in your life that are telling you that you cannot do something, tell them you love them and then get away from them. You do not need that kind of negativity in your life. Trust me, this process is hard enough (no matter what your goals are) without those kinds of people. That is not a true support system.

I think what has changed the most for me recently is simply the fact that I believe in myself more. There was a long time (years and years) where I had little to no self-confidence. I believed that I was nothing so I did nothing. If something was going to happen to me, it would just happen in its own time. And let me be the one to tell you that that’s a bunch of bullshit.

If you want something out of life. You have to go after it. You have to work hard. You have to take your failures and turn them into lessons learned. You have to get yourself back up, wipe the blood, sweat, and tears off of your face and go at it again. Put in the work. Believe in yourself. Dream big. You are worth it. Always.

So two questions for you to ponder:

1) What was the single stupidest thing that you used to believe whole-heartedly?

2) What do you want out of life that you don’t currently have, and how are you going to go get it?

Releasing Thoughts

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It has been a long while since I have sat down at my computer (now my laptop, and I’m lying on my Purple bed instead of sitting in an uncomfortable computer chair) to free write anything that comes to mind. This is one of my most favorite activities because it allows me to clear my head and brain from all that has been cluttering it in recent weeks and months and to spit things out that I didn’t know were clogging up my mind.

The first thing that has become completely apparent to me is that I do not write nearly as much as I would actually like to. I think that is partly out of fear of failing at what I do. Fear that I will be judged and ridiculed for fancying something like the concept of writing for a career of what most would consider a traditional job. But here’s the thing, the times are changing and traditional jobs are epically boring. I should have to dread going to work every day. I shouldn’t have to feel completely emotionally spent after working a 9.5-hour shift. I don’t feel as though work should be the sole focus of my life.

What is out there that I love? What makes me happy? What bring joy and meaning to my life? Truthfully, very few things. My husband, most of my family, a few of my friends, and writing. Sure, there are many other things that I enjoy such as being out in nature, watching movies, listening to music, being a gamer; however, my true joy is writing. I’m far from good at it. Half the time I cannot keep my thoughts in order long enough to make sense to the outside world, but I have always felt a story in my heart and I think if for nothing else, getting it out on paper is something that I must do. Will it get published? Who knows! Heck, I’m not even sure I would share it with many more than my closest humans. Here is the thing, I wouldn’t be writing it for them. I would be writing it for me.

One of the lessons I was always taught as a kid (aside from the golden rule) was that practice made perfect. And although I have no desire to actually strive for perfection, I do want to be better than I was. I want to grow and change and learn. To accomplish this, that means that I will be writing more. Most of this writing will not likely make it to the public sector of my blog, but it will be writing nonetheless and that is what matters. I plan on focusing in on three main areas (with wiggle room in between of course!): Poetry, Fiction, Blog/Journaling. I will always emphasize on letter writing, story building and brainstorming, and simply talking about things that I love or that interest me.

Right now I am in the middle of attempting to catch up to the rest of the world that has been following along with the Game of Thrones story on HBO. I watched the first four seasons years ago and I am finally now ready to officially catch up. However, it has been so long that I have chosen to start from the beginning to get a clearer picture of everything that is going on in this unique world of fascinating characters. I have also been making a point to really look at each character individually and really analyze them and accept them as their own beings. I love the grandeur of the world Martin has taken in creating this world and I look forward to wherever it may go. I am currently on the final episode of Season one and hope to start into season 2 today.

Today; however, is a busy one. I had gym this morning where I got the honor of being pulled over for turning into the turn lane too soon. Thanks for the ticket and the mandatory driving class! I went to the gym with Steve and did my lower body day workout. I did my strength training well; however, I feel as though I could have pushed myself better/more on my cardio workout. Tomorrow I am with my trainer so after my session with her I will make sure to push myself harder than yesterday. I am still only in competition with myself, but I am awfully curious as to how far I can push myself. I truly believe that I am far more capable than I give myself credit for. It’s another 9.5-hour work day today (on my lunch right now… did I say that earlier?) and then as soon as Steve gets home from work we are heading to a local Mexican restaurant to participate in a weekly game night here in town. We have gone to two others of these meet ups and for the most part they have been fun. After we get home, possibly another episode of Game of Thrones and then I would like to get a little more writing in before heading to sleep.

My ten-minute writing timer just went off so I am going to end things here. I hope that you are having a great week so far and I will talk to you… type to you soon!

A Quick Catch Up

fireworks

I’ve been off the writing grid for a couple of weeks now (mostly hand written journal writing since 24 June) and I am so happy to be back. I have so many words swirling in my brain it is actually very difficult to write. Let’s get with the highlights:

Conclusion: Meet-Up: The anxiety and panic attacks I gave myself before the meet-up where debilitating. Once we actually got to the restaurant and met everyone, things were a little better. Once we started playing games (all of which I have never heard of before), I was feeling the most myself. We both had so much fun that we are going back again this coming week!

4th of July: Had a nice time with the family across town. Yummy desserts and lots of fun fireworks. We also played many rounds of the game Mafia! And we all had a blast. I really, REALLY look forward to doing it again.

Satuday 08 July 2017: Is my husband’s birthday! Fun celebrations and good eats will be had. I’ve wrapped his presents and filled out his card. IF I get up early enough, he may even get breakfast in bed! (No promises!)

Gaming: I’m exciting to be playing again; however, I haven’t figured out the right timing that I want to put forth with it. Do I want to play casually? Do I want to raid casually? Can I really raid casually? I have been a Heroic/Mythic raider for most of my gaming life. This is to be determined.

Gym: I just finished my first six weeks with my new trainer and I am waiting for her to enter all of my stats in to see how well I have done. If nothing else, I am more confident and I am absolutely stronger than I used to be. I am looking forward to the change up of my routines starting next week. I will have new strength training exercises, although each day will be unique with upper body, lower body, and core days. I train with her two days a week so she gives me a fun bag mix of it all. I have learned so much about myself. I now know more of what works and what doesn’t.

And my goodness… when you believe in yourself, anything is freaking possible!